Association of outdoor recreation availability with physical activity and weight status in Minnesota youth

Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Andrew Oftedal, Ingrid Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Examine macro-level associations of youth physical activity (PA) and weight status with availability of outdoor recreation resources (i.e., parkland, forestland, natural preserves, nonmotorized trails, and motorized trails) across counties in Minnesota. Methods: Hierarchical regression models examined if availability of recreation resources significantly improved prediction of PA and weight status of 9th and 12th grade boys and girls (2010) across Minnesota counties. Results: The inclusion of county-level densities of recreational land variables did not produce a significant increase in R2 for any of the models predicting 9th grade outcomes, yet county-level densities of recreational trails did significantly increase R2 for both levels of PA and weight status. In contrast, the inclusion of recreational trails did not produce any significant increases in R2 for 12th grade outcomes, although the inclusion of recreational land did significantly increase the R2 for 12th grade girls achieving 30min of PA 5 or more days of the week. Conclusion: Findings indicate that various recreational land and trail types may have different impacts on and associations with PA and health outcomes. As such, it is important that future studies focus not only on parks, but also on other types of recreational lands and trails as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-127
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Access
  • Obesity
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Parks
  • Physical activity
  • Youth


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